CMU News

CMU Trains Youngsters for Shipping Jobs Overseas

By | CMU News

The future is bright for nearly three dozen young people under the age of 30, who have been trained and certified as multipurpose ratings for the international job market. As ratings or rates, they are equipped to assist in tasks that can arise during a voyage. These include for example, assisting in anchoring, cleaning and overall maintenance of a ship, such as repairing broken lines and ropes. These are critical activities that ensure the overall smooth operation of the vessel and require skilled personnel. The group graduated on Friday, July 27, 2018, after three months of rigorous training at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), and are already being placed in jobs at an international shipping company – one of the world’s largest carrier of fuel and chemicals in both their liquefied and gaseous states – EXMAR.

Guest Speaker at the ceremony, CMU Vice President of University Advancement and Development, Eron Mclean, noted that this is just the beginning, as several other sets of students will be recruited and trained to meet the growing needs of the company, which is increasing its fleet of ships, and thus require more trained seafarers. For decades, the CMU has certified hundreds of officers, management level merchant mariners and able-bodied seamen, through its Faculty of Marine and Nautical Studies (FMNS). Now it is engaging its Faculty of Advanced Skills and Professional Development, to reach unattached youth, and partnering with shipping lines to ensure that opportunities at sea are made available to these young people, who will take up jobs at other levels in the industry.

This multipurpose rating programme was designed by the FMNS, headed by Associate Vice President Captain Jhonny Pretell, who also designed the current seafaring Bachelor degree programme, which is known for its high level of discipline. Captain Pretell noted that “we, don’t instil discipline, in the literal sense. We design the training in a strategic way to inculcate a sense of integrity, respect and responsibility in the students. Once they learn the importance of these three principles, discipline comes naturally.”  He added that these are principles that will serve them well at sea.

According to President, Professor Fritz Pinnock, this is a significant development in the lives of the graduates, who entered the programme with under five CSEC subjects and who will now have the opportunity to earn up to USD$1,500.00 as a monthly salary. This, he notes, ‘is changing the lives of young Jamaicans’ who will gain exposure and experience all over the world, as global citizens within the international shipping community.

CMU partners with Optimum Customer Service consultancy

By | CMU News
The Caribbean Maritime University has teamed up with Optimum Customer Service Consultancy to work, among other initiatives, on the Technology Advancement programme, TAP.
Optimum is a customer service training company which started in the UK over 10 years ago and launched in Jamaica in 2017. Thanks to its partnership with CMU the company is now able to provide certified training to individuals. Training which is recognised not only in Jamaica but internationally.
This month heralds the start of the first project delivered in the CMU and Optimum partnership. As part of the islandwide TAP1000 initiative, Optimum delivered a professionalism module covering a variety of topics to support the students as they prepare for work. From how to behave in a professional environment, to exploring different ways to communicate, to selecting appropriate clothing for a job placement – several learning methods were used to engage participants.
Optimum already delivers certified customer service courses to the public at different locations across Jamaica.
TAP is an initiative of the Ministry of Science Energy and Technology through the Universal Service Fund, one of the agencies within the Ministry. TAP aims to support Jamaica’s thrust to become a knowledge based society by equipping young persons with the skills and experience to participate in the global digital economy.

The programme will target young persons island-wide aged 18-35 and will facilitate them acquiring and honing skills in ICT both in the classroom and the work environment. The programme will also provide human resource support to the Government of Jamaica to accelerate its ongoing digitization process. Participants will be engaged for 12 months. After this period, they will be equipped with the skills to become tech entrepreneurs or to better contribute in the world of work.


By | CMU News

The Caribbean Maritime University will on Wednesday receive the Prime Minister’s Medal of Service Award for education. This award comes just months after the institution was granted “University Status” by the House of Parliament.

According to CMU President, Fritz Pinnock, this medal supports the University’s ethos of service to the nation. “It is indeed an honour to be recognized by the Prime Minister for our contribution to Jamaica,” Pinnock said. “At the core of our operation as one of Jamaica’s leading universities is to leverage our resources in order to positively impact the lives of our students, faculty and staff.”

Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora were encouraged to submit applications for the Prime Minister’s Jamaica. Among the submission for CMU included, Chief Executive Officer of Kingston Wharves, Dr. Grantley Stephenson, and Dr. Birte Timm of German Ship Repairs Jamaica Limited.

According to Stephenson, the CMU has shown tremendous leadership and impact on students in Jamaica. “With the impeccable University leadership, shared global vision, and effort by faculty and staff, CMU has indeed expanded its offerings to provide transformational experiences for its students all across Jamaica.”

Meanwhile, Birte Timm lauded the University for its Advancement in technology, and its ability to use this innovation to impact lives of Jamaicans. “Through strategic partnerships and alliances with companies like our own they are able to foster commitments in order to solve regional challenges in innovative ways. The connections they have made not only positively impact the University but by extension their students and the wider community.”
The Prime Minister’s service award recognizes individuals and groups (corporate or non-corporate) who in the opinion of the Prime Minister have made significant contributions to the development of the economic, social, cultural or political fabric of Jamaica.

Over the last few years, the CMU has been the recipient of numerous award both locally and internationally including the Gleaner’s Award for Excellence.

Caribbean Maritime University: making a waves in Sports

By | CMU News

A few years ago, the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) had little representation in intercollegiate sports competitions in the island. Fast forward to 2018, with a thriving sporting department, dedicated students, and hard-working coaches, the University is making waves in collegiate sports.

“It’s a major achievement,” says Stacy Ann Jack, who jointly manages the sports programme at CMU with Stephan Williams. “We [CMU] are now challenging a lot of the other universities in sporting areas in which they’ve had a much longer history. I believe after this season, more CMU and even secondary students will see the progress being made, and join the programme.”

Although known for seafaring, logistics, engineering and related fields, excelling in sports sits easily alongside the university’s vision of being the university of choice for global leaders. Like its strategic approach to its educational offerings, the institution’s progress in sports is no accident.

“Our sporting strategy was to first establish ourselves in non-traditional sports like rowing and fencing,” Ms. Jack said. This—according to her was a major success, the University now holds the top-ranked+

male and female fencers in the island, who have also represented CMU as well as Jamaica in international competitions.

From traditional sports like football and track and field, to non-traditional sports like rowing, fencing and cheerleading, the diversity in sporting disciplines at CMU means that no student is ever stuck for choice.

With titles in football, cheerleading, fencing, swimming and hockey, and promising performances in basketball, netball, track and field and rugby, one by one, CMU is expanding its reach in collegiate sports in Jamaica.

Captain of the CMU Hockey team, Gregory Gayle, is still celebrating his team’s victory over perennial sporting heavyweights – the University of the West Indies Mona and GC Foster College at the recently held inter-collegiate hockey finals.

Gayle, a standout hockey player at his alma mater Munro College, expressed confidence that the future for CMU hockey is promising. “The team has great chemistry, and we are students of the game itself,” he said.  “We are confident that come next season, we’ll be able to defend our title.”

In an effort to ensure that the CMU continues to improve in sports, the sporting department has implemented several strategies to revolutionize sports at the institution. With greater emphasis being placed on attracting student athletes from secondary schools.

Stacy Ann Jack believes the sky is the limit for sports at CMU, and with more lucrative sports packages, the CMU can attract talented athletes.

“We [Sports Coordinators] are in dialogue with University’s management to look into offering more financial support to student athletes, especially in areas like track and field,” she said.

Many believe with adequate support from major athletic brands, the CMU is poised for great things in this area.

Leading that charge is student-athlete and Intercollegiate 100 metres silver medallist, Dushawn Mighty. He hopes his recent performance in track and field will serve as inspiration for the growing track and field programme at the institution.

“This silver medal means so much to me,” Mighty expressed. “I think more students will start to believe they can compete and actually win medals. Before, the belief was that only UWI/Utech athletes can win at these championships.”

Mighty’s performance was not only inspirational, but historic. He became the first student from the institution to win a medal in track and field at the collegiate level.

While the facilities in some areas are overshadowed by the older universities, the variety, vibrancy and value still exists.

“There’s tremendous value to what we’re doing,” she said. “No one can disregard the importance of a good sports system within a university, from attracting more students, building awareness, and improving mental and physical health.”

The CMU received official university status in September 2017.

Leondra Power is sworn-in as CMU Students’ Union President

By | CMU News

Leondra Power was sworn-in as president of the CMU Students’ Union in a ceremony on Thursday at the University’s Main Campus, ushering in a new period of student leadership that she vowed would “change the tide”.

The ceremony capped a remarkable election for Leondra – who some saw as the underdog during the election campaign. The oath of office was administered by outgoing president Romaine Wallace at 3:30 p.m. signalling the start of her term as Student Union president.

During her address, she asserted that she is the best fit to lead the student body during this critical period of in the University’s history, and outlined her plans for the upcoming academic year. She also used the moment to laud the Romaine Wallace led Students’ Union which she said had helped restore confidence and relevance to the Union Office.

“I would also like to thank Romaine Wallace for leading a talented team of young and committed individuals who brought greater leadership and pride to the Union Office.”

“I intend to extend the reach our University to broader and more diverse audiences,” Leondra told members of the audience who turned out to witness her first public address since her victory over Matthew Gilzene to be elected president.

Leondra assumed the presidency of a Union which has undergone several changes over the last two academic years. She acknowledged that it would be a tall order to match the achievements of her predecessor as president but asserted that her team is up for the challenge.

“Under Mr. Wallace’s leadership the Union has been characterized by innovative ideas, strategic thinking and countless efforts to increase credibility and visibility,” she said. “My team is competent and ready to work. And where we may fall short, we are prepared to work alongside past student leaders.”

Meanwhile, outgoing president, Romaine Wallace charged the incoming Union members to develop passion and consistency; as only then, will they reap what he termed “hidden rewards.”






The CMU and USF – giving at-risk youth a chance to sail!

By | CMU News

“If you are not working, in training or in a university, employers don’t take you seriously,” Andre said. “And I think at some point most of us [youth] just give up and say, ‘No one will ever employ us.’”

Andre Riley, a resident of the Mountain View avenue community in St. Andrew, had been unemployed since leaving high school in 2013. Now 24 year-old, he had given up on gaining a stable job.

Then came the Technology Advancement Programme, TAP, a brainchild of Technology Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley, funded by the Universal Service Fund, with training provided by the Caribbean Maritime University, the CMU.

TAP targets the large population of unattached youth which by some estimates is as much as 70 percent in some cohorts.

The approximately one thousand participants (hence TAP1000), between the ages of 18 and 35, selected from across the island are provided with valuable job skills training (with an emphasis on information communications technology) as well as a stable income, and work experience.

The first three months take the form of training which will be administered and certified by the CMU. For the other nine months, these persons will be placed at various government entities across the country, in the parishes where they reside, to make full use of the skills acquired during the three-months

For participants like Andre it’s been “transformational.”

“I basically stopped job hunting, because I usually don’t get any response whenever I send out resumes,” he said. Stories like his – are far from unusual given the thousands of youth between the ages of 18 and 24 in Jamaica – who are unemployed despite actively seeking jobs.

With little prospect of finding work Andre spent most of his days at home or on the road in his community. Then one day his mother told him about a programme she heard about on the radio called “TAP.”

“I googled ‘TAP job programme in Jamaica’ and the information came up,” he said.

It was a rare flicker of hope for Andre after a series of applications that went nowhere and employers whom he said constantly reminded him that he needed more work experience or declared that he was simply unqualified.

“After reading about the programme, and learning that it was offered by the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and the Caribbean Maritime University – I visited the CMU website, and saw the application period was closed,” he stated. So I checked the CMU’s social media page and saw that they are having a workshop in Montego Bay and were scheduled to come to Kingston in two days. I was determined to be a part of the Kingston set so I called the CMU.”

He said after calling the University, a staff member admired his determination, and contacted the programme coordinator for the TAP programme and arranged for him to visit the Kingston workshop.

Through TAP – the CMU is training close to 1000 young Jamaicans in effective communication strategies, data collection, online data security and computer literacy.

“Already I have learned some very important work skills that have changed my outlook on life,” he said.

“Waking up every morning and knowing that you’re learning something new that will benefit you in the work world is a good feeling,” he said. While the money provided to participants is an incentive, Andre says it is by no means his sole purpose for attending.

According to Dr. Kornel Brown, Associate Vice-President at the Caribbean Maritime University, “we’re always looking for opportunities to positively impact youth in Jamaica, and this is one such avenue,” he said. “These young men and women – when you are able to intervene at this point, you can change the trajectory of their lives.”

Meanwhile, CMU’s President, Professor Fritz Pinnock said “our university [CMU] will continue to support programmes like TAP that create clear career paths to employment, including training in ‘hard’ skills like technological certification and customer service, as well as ‘soft’ skills like teamwork, problem solving and time management for young people across all backgrounds.

For Andre, the fact that he will receive a certificate from the Caribbean Maritime University at the end of the programme – serves as motivation to pursue higher education in the future. He says he intends to pursue that dream when he is more settled financially.

He believes youth in Jamaica represent a significant untapped resource of productivity and talent. He added that with the right support and training, they can contribute positively to businesses and communities in Jamaica.

A large number of the participants from the programme are from low-income households and Andre feels some people do not respect them. s

“A lot of persons in Jamaica look down on persons from inner-city communities, especially youths who are unemployed,” he said. “I believe if organizations give these youth a chance to work in a business environment – it will have a positive impact on them, as well as their communities.”

For more information on the TAP1000 programme visit


CMU defeats UWI to win hockey title

By | CMU News
The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) hockey team defeated the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona 3-2 in their  encounter on Wednesday at the Mona Hockey Field to secure the intercollegiate (intercol) title.
Both teams played aggressively in the first ten minutes, however, it was the CMU which got the breakthrough in the 13th minute when Jevaun March opened the scoring – putting the UWI team under early pressure.
He again breached the UWI’s defence in the 20th minute with a shot from the defensive zone sending the ball flying into the back of the UWI team’s net. He was supported by Floyd Hensley who ensured a CMU victory with his 28th minute goal.
The victory for the CMU raises the interest in the hockey programme at the University – which only started two months ago. “This is one of our newest sporting disciplines at the University,” says Stacy – Ann Jack, who jointly heads the Sports Department at the CMU. “We would love to see some of our players advancing to the national team, which would show the development and growth of the sports at CMU.”
Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Hockey Association (JHA) Fabian Stewart congratulated the CMU team for its performance and impressive display against the UWI. “It is indeed a major achievement for CMU which defeated perennial favourites UWI,” he said. “This victory will go well for the overall sporting programme at the CMU.”
As the University continues its thrust to become a sporting powerhouse in non-traditional sports in Jamaica, this win is the ‘icing on the cake’ for an excellent sporting season which included the Division I Football Championship, Intercol Cheerleading Championship, and other impressive performances in basketball, netball and swimming.


By | CMU News

Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) is already steadying its foothold on the global intellectual landscape – as Matthew Gilzene and Nahjae Nunes are representing the University at the Pan-American Universities Debating Championship at Morehouse College, Atlanta, USA from April 6 -8, 2018

Often known for its courses in logistics and seafaring, CMU is expanding its capacity and student experience through Debating and Public Speaking. In a ground-breaking initiative spearheaded by the University’s administration and past world debaters; Shani Bennett and Kevon Martin, CMU hosted their first British Parliamentary Debate Competition and from that pool selected top talent to represent the University at the Pan-American Championship.

Gilzene and Nunez, first and third-year students respectively, were selected and coached for the competition. CMU coaches said preparation for the championship was intense; they particularly noted that Jamaican debaters had to work hard to adapt to British Parliamentary debating style, the format used in in the tournament. More generally, all debaters must be prepared with an extensive arsenal of arguments and up-to-date information.

“It takes a lot of hard work adapting to the British Parliament Style of debating, it’s like learning a new language,” said Bennett. However, both Gilzene and Nunes were top debaters in high school so the adjustment was fairly easy.

According to Nunes, this is an excellent opportunity for students [debating] to build their publc speaking and critical thinking skills. “At the very least, debating helps students to see the importance of using rational and reasoned arguments,” he said. “Since I’ve been a debater, I’m able to use more organized and compelling evidence when I write argumentative essays in class.”

Meanwhile, Gilzene said debating has improved his ability to critically discuss global issues rigorously—an effect he would want to share with his university colleagues as executive advisor of the Debating and Literary Arts Society.

The Debating and Literary Arts Society, which started in February, seeks to equip students with a multi-faceted knowledge cutting across various disciplines while providing an engaging environment where they can actively discuss an array of local and international issues. This, in turn, will improve their high order critical thinking skills and afford them with the ability to structure and organize their thoughts.

Club advisor and chaperone, Nikel Innerarity praised the support from the University administration and faculty. “The support from all levels has been excellent, especially the Office of Student Affairs,” he said.

The tournament will see some 500 tertiary-level debaters and debate administrators from South, Central and North America, as well as the Caribbean debate on topics ranging from International Relations, Ethics, Law, War, Human Rights and the Environment.


CMU gives Jamaica Rowing Federation a home

By | CMU News

On Sunday, March 18, the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) was declared the home of rowing in Jamaica, in a dedication ceremony to officially open the Jamaica Rowing Federation (JRF) Boathouse.

This is aligned to the university’s commitment to support non-traditional sports in Jamaica and is timely as the JRF has confirmed its intention to ‘row to the 2020 Olympics’ in Tokyo Japan. To do so it needed equipment, coaches and training facilities. These resources were acquired through the support of local and international partners and dedication of the Federation to make participation in the summer games a reality. The Boathouse will house equipment, store valuable training machinery and be the JRF headquarters in Jamaica.


Members from the CMU rowing club try out the new erg machines which were provided through funding from the Jamaica Olympic Association.

Partnership at work

CMU provided the physical space, equipped with security features and showers, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) donated six erg machines which facilitates training, and certification for fifteen coaches was endorsed by World Rowing (FISA) – the organization that regulates rowing internationally. Certification followed a week-long development camp for rowers and coaches, designed to build the capacity of the rowers, increase the number of rowers that will become certified coaches, and grow Jamaica’s rowing programme, thereby strengthening its campaign to ‘Row to the Olympics’, for 2020 in Tokyo. Training was facilitated by John Parker, Trainer, High Performance Rowing Coach and Programme Innovator. Parker served as a member of the coaching team for the United States at the RIO Olympics and who also coached the first Nigerian rower to ever race at the Olympics.

In his remarks, Secretary-General for the JRF, Robert Scott, noted that this coaches’ development camp is of critical importance because the lack of coaches is the single largest obstacle in building an elite rowing team and that through this training, the number of coaches increased from just three to eighteen. He also thanked the JOA for its partnership, generous donation and continued support. Samuda, who offered greetings on behalf of the JOA, commended the JRF for its valiant efforts to diversify Jamaica’s sporting excellence in non-traditional sports and the CMU for its vision, and unwavering support of the Federation, citing that institutional support plays a vital role in the development of sports worldwide. In his address, Coach Parker cited the talent, passion and discipline of the rowers as fantastic features of an Olympic campaigning team and encouraged other organizations to support the Jamaican rowing programme.


By | CMU News

Imagine a world in which people talk to machines – self-driving cars, drones, and robots completing human tasks.  This is the Fourth Industrial Evolution, and the Caribbean Maritime University, CMU, through its partnership with the German-based, FESTO, is at the forefront of preparing those students – for the future.

It’s a fantastic partnership between FESTO and the CMU to establish what’s called a FACT Centre to give students state of the art cutting-edge engineering training. FESTO, a global market leader in industrial education, is an engineering-driven company, specializing in pneumatics; the branch of engineering that specializes in gas or pressurized air, and electric automation technology. The  CMU is the leader for maritime education and training in the region.

Both entities will offer students and employees of manufacturing companies’ hands-on training to learn industry skills necessary to succeed in an evolving economy.

“By 2020, the fourth industrial revolution would have brought us advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and biotechnology,” according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). This period – the fourth industrial revolution – is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds.

Elaine Hayden, Director of Special Projects and Strategic Initiatives at the Caribbean Maritime University, believes there will be a dramatic shift in the skills demand set over the next few years. “Modern, state of the art manufacturing starts with qualified people,” she said. “And with the introduction of advanced technologies in large to small innovative companies, the FACT Centre will supply skilled technicians to the manufacturing sector and beyond.”

The PwC 2016 Global Industry 4.0 Survey agrees: “The biggest challenge for industrial leaders isn’t technology – it’s the people.”

Training – or retraining the workforce will be “a challenging task” for companies as we approach the fourth industrial revolution, Hayden said.  However, she was quick to point out that the FACT Centre is equipped with the resources and the technical know-how to solve this skills-gap. “We have four state-of-the-art laboratories and internationally trained FESTO certified lecturers that will be delivering the courses to our first cohort in September.”

The FACT Centre will offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Mechatronics and Automation – areas that will see a rapid increase in job prospects over the next few years as well as specialized courses in industrial pneumatics, electromechanical systems, and hydraulics.

In addition to offering undergraduate degrees, professional development and certificate initiatives, the Centre will focus on fostering an education through a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) approach and strengthening CMU’s track record of aligning academic programmes with industry demands.


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